Roberto Osuna is sick of being vilified for what he says are merely allegations of domestic abuse and wants the justice system to run its course before people come at him with slings and arrows.
“No one knows what happened but obviously me,” Osuna told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. “Everybody is quick to judge me and say all kinds of things about it. I’m just waiting for everything to come out so people can really wait to see what happened. I would really like the fans, and everybody else, [to] learn what the media says is not true.
“The biggest thing for me, and it’s sad to me, [is] how people are free to say whatever they want. They can just judge you, and they don’t know you. Everybody is judging me for things they don’t know. I don’t like that.
“Hey, if I’m guilty, you can say whatever you want.”
Many believe Osuna to be guilty already, citing Major League Baseball’s 75-game suspension of the all-star closer, the Toronto Blue Jays trading him away after he served his suspension, and his silence on the matter, as clear evidence.
But not everybody thinks this way, including some of his old Toronto teammates, who Osuna says have reached out to offer support.
“There are people who changed towards me, but so many people had my back and were supportive. I heard from guys like Jason Grilli, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. That meant everything to me,” said Osuna.
He also says he’s been welcomed with open arms since he came to Houston.
“The first time I met these guys, they gave me the thumbs up. They said, ‘Hey, you’re one of us. Happy to have you.’ They’ve really made me comfortable, and really made things normal.”
The Astros may be making things normal, but that doesn’t mean this situation is, especially with the Astros organization itself, after it waived its zero-tolerance domestic violence policy in order to acquire Osuna’s talent using the excuse that the incident occurred while he was with the Blue Jays.
So muddled is the matter, that even members of the Astros that Nightengale spoke to seemed to express some confusion.
“The egregious acts are the egregious acts,” said Houston manager A.J. Hinch. “That’s never going to be debatable among people, and I get it. I have a wife and two daughters. It’s very hard personally to even think about that. But the fact is that the case is still pending, is what most people are offended about.
“Even though you’re suspended by baseball, which everybody thinks is an admittance of guilt – you forfeit the money and the time – but then it’s still not over and he’s pitching for a contender. I can see the confusing messages around baseball.”
Others, however, were much more effusive about how they think about everything, viewing the acquisition of Osuna as a real positive for a team that’s hoping to repeat as World Series champions.
“All I’ve got to say is let all of this sort out and see if people are talking, and how they’re talking in public,” Alex Bregman said. “I think once the truth comes out, a lot of people are going to eat their words. … He’s been an unbelievable teammate, and a great guy.”
“This group, in particular, cares a lot about the character in this clubhouse. People that are in this clubhouse are counting on people being good people,” said Charlie Morton. “So far, he hasn’t demonstrated to the contrary. He’s been great.”
And this positive sentiment even applies to players in the Astros clubhouse who have blasted domestic abusers in the past, such as Justin Verlander, who had a very strong response to video of former Houston pitching prospect Danry Vasquez hitting his girlfriend.
“Everybody kind of got on me what I said about the other guy,” said Verlander. “That was different. I saw video of that guy. I saw the evidence. I haven’t seen anything with [Osuna]. I don’t know. I wouldn’t pass judgment on somebody if I didn’t know what happened.
“So I don’t pretend to assume anything. It’s a sensitive subject. They knew what they were biting off. It’s an interesting dynamic in here.”
So far, there’s been no resolution in Osuna’s current court case, with the next date scheduled for Sept. 5.